By Lizz Panchyk
Barbie was a huge part of my childhood and I have to say that this movie was everything I needed as a 21-year-old girl entering the real world. Directed by Greta Gerwig, “Barbie” depicts the perfect “Barbie Land” where water doesn't exist, Barbies walk in heels, not on their heels, and Ken is, well, just Ken.
I was a little hesitant when I first discovered that this movie was being made, but the casting and scripting was just phenomenal, better than I could have imagined.
Full of pink and Barbies of every kind, stereotypical Barbie (Margot Robbie) begins to question the real world — outside of the comfort of her Barbie Dreamhouse. Ken (Ryan Gosling) follows her and together, they discover the real world (California), which happens to be the complete opposite of everything they once knew to be true. They go from a matriarchal society to a patriarchy, a direct slap in the face to Barbie.
While Ken initially takes a liking to the patriarchy, he realizes that it’s not everything he thought it would be, and Barbie realizes her life is more than she could ever imagine it could be. One of the points the movie makes is how patriarchy can affect both men and women and turn us against each other, when there’s more to life than just power. While Ken realizes he is enough, Barbie realizes who she wants to be. With an homage to Ruth Handler, inventor of the “Barbie” brand, stereotypical Barbie takes the wheel and creates her own destiny.
As I watched Barbie truly be anything she could be, it reminded me that I, too, could be anything that I wanted to be, but each one of us is required to take a journey to get there. While it may not be through outer space or fields of flowers, it’s a necessary journey to take.
The most beautiful thing was watching how many groups of older ladies or older couples walked into the theater in their pink outfits to watch this movie about the doll that has been influencing young children since the invention of “Barbie” back in 1959. Gerwig has touched the hearts of many with this beautiful film.
As I watched this movie with my mom, who also grew up with Barbies, I noticed the theme of motherhood that soundly brought the movie together. Sitting next to her and laughing and crying and pointing out all of the fun references healed my childhood in a way I couldn’t have imagined. One scene in particular reminded me of why childhood is so special, and it was definitely my breaking point as I was holding in sobs surrounded by a theater of people.
Already surpassing the $1.16 billion mark worldwide—making Gerwig the first solo female director to achieve this benchmark—this popular movie has taken the reins. The music was perfect, and I have been singing “I’m Just Ken” ever since I saw it.
A spectacular and sparkling movie that I could rewatch again and again, “Barbie,” rated PG-13, is a beautiful unity between motherhood and childhood and a perfect concoction of emotion and comedy.